Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Cheesy Vegetarian Quinoa Casserole

This meatless meal is sure to be a crowd pleaser in any household. It is loaded with fibre and protein from the black beans and quinoa, and packs in a good amount of vegetables! This Mexican inspired recipe can be easily customized based on likes and dislikes. Don't like zucchini? Take it out and add more bell peppers. Like spicy dishes? Choose hot salsa or amp up the quantity of chili flakes. This recipe is fairly forgiving, so feel free to play around with the specifics.


Casseroles help to make meal prepping for the week a breeze. This recipe is fairly large, so I normally make the whole recipe at once, but divide the contents into two loaf pans; one to eat for supper and one to freeze for later. This recipe freezes really well. Simply make the recipe as per the instructions below, cover well with plastic wrap and tin foil, and store in your freezer for up to three months. It is a great dish to pull out from your freezer when you are tight on time during the week. 




Recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes 
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes 
Serves: 8

Ingredients 
1 1/4 cups quinoa (dry, prior to cooking)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped  
1/2 cup onion, chopped 
1 cup zucchini, chopped
500mL salsa
1 1/2 cups corn or ~1 can 
1 1/2 cups black beans or ~ 1 can 
2 tsp turmeric  
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 medium avocado, chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese   

Directions
  1. Grease casserole dish (one 9x13 inch pan, or two 8 inch loaf pans) and preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Combine quinoa and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium/high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. 
  3. Add olive oil to frying pan and sauté red pepper, onion, and zucchini over medium heat for 5 minutes or until just tender. 
  4. In a large bowl, combine quinoa and vegetables with all remaining ingredients, except avocado and shredded cheese (set those aside for topping casserole). Stir until combined. 
  5. Add mixture to prepared casserole dish and top with avocado and shredded cheese. Cover dish with aluminum foil. 

  6. Cook for for 30 minutes then remove aluminum foil and continue to cook until all cheese is melted (usually 5-10 minutes more). 
  7. Serve with a spoonful of sour cream or cottage cheese and extra salsa if desired. Keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

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